Cape Gooseberries - A Complete Guide

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The cape gooseberry or physalis continues to suffer from a bit of a blanket ban from most restaurants in England. Due largely to the awfulness that was our interpretation of nouvelle cuisine in the early eighties when the physalis battled with raspberry vinaigrette for the most used garnish on basically anything it is now left to the kitchen gardener to enjoy its merits.

Cape Gooseberries

Wrapped in a delicate papery husk the yellow/orange fruits are usually eaten as they are though they are pleasant enough in tarts, jams and sauces and make a decent jelly.

I grow physalis under cover where they seem to thrive, grown in a large container in my polytunnel they would easily take up a large space if not kept in check. They fruit extremely well and a glut is highly likely but make sure the fruits are fully ripe before picking.

Some varieties can be protected over winter for a crop the following year but I tend not to bother, they are easy to grow from seed and require very little maintenance.

Content and picture Miles Collins